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Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu

(4.5/5 based on 300+ reviews on the web)
The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is a 200acre arboretum and botanical garden managed by the University of Hawaii at Mānoa located at the upper end of Mānoa Valley in Hawaii.Much of the Arboretum's botanical collection consists of an artificial lowland tropical rainforest with numerous trails and small water features.HistoryThe Manoa Arboretum was established in 1918 by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association to demonstrate watershed restoration and test various tree species for reforestation, as well as collect living plants of economic value. The original director of the arboretum was Dr. Harold L. Lyon, a botanist from Minnesota who was plant pathologist for the HSPA. During his tenure, Lyon planted nearly 2,000 species of trees on the site.In 1953, at Lyon's urging, the HSPA conveyed the arboretum site to the University of Hawaii, with the stipulation that the site continue to be used as an arboretum and botanical garden in perpetuity. After Lyon's death in 1957, the arboretum was renamed in his honor.Today, the Arboretum continues to develop its extensive tropical plant collection, while emphasizing native Hawaiian plants, such as Pritchardia spp. (palms). Its over 15,000 accessions focus primarily on the monocot families of palms, gingers, heliconias, bromeliads, and aroids. Native and Polynesian cultivated and wild species are displayed in the ethnobotanical, native ecosystems, and Hawaiian sections of the gardens. The Lyon Arboretum also maintains an active seed bank.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We visited the arboretum to enjoy being outdoors and learn more about the local plants. There are many confusing and hard to follow trails. The main trail (we think) was very rocky and there was minim...  more »
  • Difficult to find parking right now, but well worth the trip. So many beautiful flowers and a great view of the valley. Off the beaten path and quiet!  more »
  • It is a peaceful place to walk and take photos of the extensive collection of tropical plants. The trails varies from wide to narrow but they are all well marked so you can follow along on the map.  more »
Google
  • Plenty parking spaces. This trail is easy to walk on because it's topped with rocks so my shoes don't get that dirty. Not much to see. The waterfall on the top is a small one. The path to buddha is somehow not maintained well, lots of mosquitos, and could appear very muddy, we gave up going there, however, we spotted one red-billed leiothrix, just a glance, and within a few minutes listening to it and looking for it, we got many mosquito bites.
  • Amazing plants and trails! The waterfall at the end was awesome too. Easy/moderate hike and way less crowded than manoa falls!
  • What a beautiful and peaceful place! One of my favorite places to hike around and experience the beauty of tropical plants. There are so many types of plants here and it has a very nice lawn where you can relax under a tree and read a book.
  • Amazing place to wander in nature. It would be easy to spend a whole day here following various trails. Just bring plenty water, sunscreen, and bug spray. None of the walking is very strenuous. Even the smallest spurs are pretty solid and I have not found anything very steep. Do watch the weather before you go because it can get sloppy if it has rained recently. It's free to visit, but I encourage everyone to donate at least $5 at the office.
  • Such a pretty place so close to town, lots of wild animals and beautiful plants. It was a shame it was raining on and off the day we went